Consider these helpful ideas to maintain your connections with others.
Socializing and communicating with others is a healthy and beneficial part of life. It helps you connect to people you care about and convey your thoughts, feelings, and desires to the outside world. If you experience hearing loss, you may begin to change the way you communicate with those around you, and everyone has their own preferred methods. The important thing is to find a communication strategy – or a combination of several – that are most comfortable for you. Here are a few helpful tips to aid with communication:
- Visual cues and lip reading
- Written communication
- Captioned telephone technology
Keep reading to learn more about each of these ways to communicate with hearing loss.
1. Visual cues and lip reading
You can learn a lot by looking at a person’s face and body while they are talking. Hearing loss experts estimate that only 38% of communication is composed of vocal signals, while 55% is conveyed via body language. Visual cues such as facial expressions, body language, and posture can help fill in the gaps and provide context for your conversation.
Along with visual cues, some people with hearing loss choose to rely on lip reading, also known as speechreading. Lip reading is a way of communicating where you follow the speaker’s lip and mouth movements as you “read” what they are saying. If this is a new communication method for you, don’t be afraid to ask your close friends and family members to make small adjustments to their behaviors that will make it easier for you to see their face clearly during the conversation. Ask people to avoid eating or drinking when talking to you, try to enunciate clearly, and encouraging them to face you while speaking are all ways they can help you pick up what they are saying more easily.
Find more resources on ways to improve your speechreading here.
Experts agree that non-verbal communication constitutes the majority of our understanding, so being expressive with hand gestures and facial cues can go a long way toward conveying your meaning. Different types of nonverbal cues can provide context and insight about your thoughts in any conversation.
3. Written communication
Another nonverbal communication method that can be helpful for people with hearing loss is writing. Consider carrying a notepad and pencil with you to write things down for easier communication with others throughout the day. Writing also comes into play during your interactions online. For instance, sending an email or commenting on a Facebook post are simple ways to use the written word to stay in touch with your family and friends.
Looking to brush up on your online skills? Browse these social media tips for seniors.
4. Captioned telephone technology
To ensure you catch every word over the phone, consider using a captioned telephone to communicate with others. These easy-to-use devices work just like any other phone, but they have the added benefit of providing captions of everything your caller says. There are several CapTel models so that you can choose the right captioned telephone for your specific needs.
Learn more about how captioned telephones work here.
Choosing your ideal communication method is a personal choice. While there are many ways to communicate with hearing loss, use the ones that work best for you based on your needs and preferences.
To order or learn more about CapTel captioned telephones, reach out to us online or call (800) 233-9130 today.
For more articles on living with hearing loss, visit our blog.